Image from The Dream Shake
Tonight at 8 PM Russell Westbrook and the Houston Rockets welcome Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies, signifying the first time Ja Morant plays his idol, Russell Westbrook. Morant has been compared to Westbrook multiple times dating back to when he led his team at Murray State considering their competitiveness and play styles. Morant modeled his game off future Hall of Famer, proving how similar the rookie and veteran are. Leading the race for Rookie of the Year, Morant is averaging 17.6 points and 6.8 assists. In a recent interview, Westbrook explains how “Ja [Morant] is going to be a great player, and he is an unbelievable talent who is having a great year. With his athleticism, the way he plays and moves on the court, along with his intensity, there are some similarities there between him and myself.” accepting how the young prodigy reminds him of himself. Westbrook missed the first two meetings between the two franchises due to his back-to-back restriction from knee surgery during the most recent off-season. Considering Westbrook was unable to play during the past two meetings there was no one else to match Morant's high, fast energy currently leaving the series tied at 1-1. Even without Westbrook playing Morant still impressed his icon as Westbrook was watching from the bench. In their second meeting, Morant was 10-11 from the field, 3-4 from the perimeter finishing with 26 points, 8 assist, and 5 rebounds. This game is very important for both teams as the Rockets need to take every game as their last if they want to reach their goal of securing the second seed moving past the Clippers and the Nuggets. On the other hand, the Memphis Grizzlies are currently in danger of having a playoff position, with the Portland Trailblazers closely following them, along with being on a three-game losing streak. Will Morant crack under pressure playing alongside idol? Or will he rise to the occasion? Tune in on ESPN at 8 PM to find out.